Five long weeks and the wait is finally over…
It is our pleasure to annouce that our hard working osprey pair have chicks!
As the hatching date approached, visitors, volunteers and staff were glued to the scopes looking out for the tell-tale signs that the first chick might have chipped its way to freedom. The reward came right on schedule on the 4th June when mum was seen dipping her head into the nest offering food, dad went into fishing overdrive and we even thought we caught a glimpse of eggshell before it went tumbling over the side of the nest.
Although we can’t be sure how many chicks are tucked away up there, the movement of mums head at dinner time suggests there may be more than one (fingers and toes crossed!). It will be another week or two before we will see their heads poking above the lip of the nest and know for sure.
It has been another soggy kind of week this week as the chicks mark their one week milestone, but the rain hasn’t stopped play. Dad has been a busy boy and we have been spoiled at the Dodd viewpoints with fantastic views of him plunging into Bassenthwaite for fish to feed his hungry brood. Mum meanwhile has been a living umbrella, protecting the youngsters from the worst of the Cumbrian weather. Covered in soft downy feathers that are not waterproof and unable to regulare their own temperature, the chicks would not be able to stay warm and dry without her. Good job mum!
But it is not just the ospreys that have been keeping us entertained up at Dodd. Ever cheeky, the red squirrels have been visiting our feeders and have been seen by many lucky visitors.
The brood of blue tits in the nest box at the lower viewpoint fledged successfully and have even been spotted on our feeders. In fact the woodland is alive with young blue, coal and great tits at the moment, with their lemon sherbert cheeks, begging noisily for food off their parents.
With so much to see, it is a great time to visit both Dodd Wood and Whinlatter where there are staff and volunteers on hand to chat to you about the unfolding story of the ospreys and much more.